Checking in on 2018

January is almost over and I need to reformat my goals for this year.  It is a plan I would like to stick to for every month this year, to evaluate my progress and adjust to meet my needs.

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In my last post, Things That F*ck with My Balance-Vol. 1, I explained how illness has gotten me off course so far this year.  This has resulted in no progress for my weight loss and fitness goals.  I have also stopped any and all work to keep up with my 2018 planner.
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My specific goals for January were to increase my water intake and stick to my daily calorie goal.  I definitely did not keep up with these goals, and I should have been more specific about my water goal.  My daily calorie goal has also been too broad of a range.

For February, I am going to focus on the following goals:

  1. Stick to my calorie goal and macros breakdown that I had calculated. I had my macros calculated by Poppy Locks.
  2. Start the Jessie’s Girls Home Edition workout program that I bought a LONG time ago and never used.
  3. STOP eating leftover food from my son’s plate.  I have to stop this the rest of my life!
  4. Keep track of my goals by using my planner.

I am putting this out there for accountability, but I think this is a good strategy for everyone to reevaluate goals on a monthly or on regular basis.  New Year’s Resolutions are out, monthly goals are it!

Ringing in the New Year-Part II

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Becoming more fit, healthy and/or losing weight are the more popular New Year’s resolutions.  Don’t fall victim to the many quick fix plans, even scams that will be prevalent.  Here are some tips on what you SHOULD do to make change towards these type of resolutions.

One Step at a Time

Don’t try to go from 0 to 60 starting January 1st! Start by making one change at a time.  This can be difficult because the gratification will not be instant, but you will be happier when the next New Year’s rolls around. If you eat fast food frequently, try to reduce the number of times you go each week.  If you are not doing any exercise currently, try to go walking a couple of times each week.  Once you achieve that goal, move the frequency or difficulty up.  If you try to be perfect and change all your habits at once, you may find yourself giving up soon.  Even with these small changes you may start to see progress, just keep moving up to the next step of more nutritious choices and more movement.

Frequent, Small Goals

When you crash diet, you may see change quickly.  It is hard to go from that to less frequent milestones.  If you start to implement these smaller changes, you may find it helpful to create small goals for yourself.  If you reach the small goals it could keep your interest for longer.  Small goals could be exercising 3x that week, not eating fast food for a certain period of time, going out to eat and not going off plan, fitting into a certain clothing item, etc.  It is best to not have scale related goals because so many factors can influence your body weight.  Once you have achieved these small goals you have set, find a reward that you look forward to but will also not derail your progress.

Consistently Consistent

This tip has made the most significant impact for myself in losing over 75 pounds after my first pregnancy, and now losing about 45 pounds (still in progress) after my second pregnancy.  If I made any mistakes in my “diet” in the past I would just give up by bingeing that day or week or who knows how long.  Being consistent in eating well and working out or getting right back on that horse is key.  Now if I go off plan, I get right back to it or I adjust the rest of the day to accommodate for what I ate.

What do you do to create habit change?

My Fitness Plan Addiction

Hi, I’m Lauren and I’m addicted to online fitness plans. In less than a month my daughter will be turning 1 year old.  I still have baby weight to lose so I’m trying to close 2017 out strong, so I am doing the Merry Fitness Challenge by Kelsey Byers. This is probably the 11th or 12th fitness plan I have adopted this year.  As soon as I see a link for a fitness plan from an online trainer I can’t help but click it (especially if it’s free, which fortunately for my bank account many have been).

Denial

Throughout my teens and 20’s I only went to a gym to workout.  I occasionally did some sit-ups and push-ups at home, but never considered actually doing a full workout at home.  During my 1st pregnancy and after my son was born, I also denied that at-home workouts were for me.  But I also wasn’t going to the gym either. I didn’t have much extra time for the gym, and I was weary about leaving my son in the babysitting room.  Something needed to change if I wanted to lose the weight.

Acceptance

Knowing that I was going to have to accept some form of at-home workouts I started looking on social media for inspiration.  Kelsey Byers’ Programs were my first go-to.  I had already read her book (See My Most Influential Books blog post), and I knew her weight loss journey was relatable to mine.  They were simple, straight-forward weight lifting and cardio plans that I was able to follow.  I could feel and see the fat loss as well as some muscle definition.  I never thought that I might see a tricep showing through.

I followed many of Kelsey’s plans, but I also knew that I needed to change it up to keep my interest.  Since then I have tried Jessie’s Girls Training ProgramsPoppy Locks-At Home with Poppy workouts (she calculated macros first, and then workout sign ups were available through her private Facebook group), Anna Victoria’s Free FBG ChallengeJill K Fitness Fit Blast workoutsBeachbody on Demand, as well as searching Pinterest for workout ideas.

Action

This was it, I have found my action plan to workout while also balancing my roles as a mother and teacher.  Occasionally I find the time to get to the gym, but home workouts are now my jam.  In addition to finding the variety of programs that work for me, I also have had to find the right equipment.

I have a variety of dumbbells, as I have increased the weight incrementally over time.  I prefer the dumbbells with the neoprene coating, but it’s really just about finding the right weight for your fitness level and increasing from there.

Exercise bands are another necessity.  I have some loop bands as well as tube bands with handles.  The loop bands are helpful in adding resistance to exercises that I was already doing, and getting a variety pack with varying resistance levels is a great idea.  The tube bands with handles are great for putting around a door for some back and arm exercises.

Kettlebells have added another dimension to my workouts, and it is important to research kettlebell exercises with the correct form.  I also prefer the coating on kettlebells, I think it just makes them easier to handle.  I started with 15 lbs and I am working the weight up over time.  I don’t necessarily think kettlebells are needed as a beginner, but I think they are a great addition.

*Note:  This post contains affiliate links, please see disclosure at the bottom of this post.

I will probably continue to feed my fitness plan addiction, and am always looking for new and exciting programs (especially if they are free or inexpensive).  Please comment below if you use any yourself!

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